Richland's search for middle school land over?

WEST RICHLAND, Wash. -- It's been a tough go for the Richland School District.

Their attempts to find land for a new middle school were plagued by missed deadlines and brick walls. But now, the district says the search may be over.

Richland School District Communication Director Steve Aagaard walks through what is now just farm land. But the inconspicuous field on Keene Road and Belmont in West Richland has become something of an answer to prayer.

The district frantically searched for spot for a new middle school.

"The Richland School District has been looking for land for a number of years. It was not an easy find," say RSD Communication Director Steve Aagaard.

The board initially gave the search a March deadline, but when that passed, the open date for the school was likely going to be pushed back--and cost the district millions more.

Many thought the District's land purchase in the new Badger Mountain South Development would end up being the spot, but that land was put aside for later use.

They're now working with the city to close on the 30 acre site. And despite months of set backs, an updated time line shows the new middle school opening on time in, in August of 2017.

"The district is doing a feasibility study, that includes such things as a title search, appraisal, Geo-technical studies, topographic studies, and the city of West Richland is doing some of their homework as well," Aagaard continued.

The entire 96,000 sq ft. project will cost around 30 million. Richland School District says their design team is already working on educational specifications.

The building of this middle school is one of nine projects voters approved on the 2013 bond issue. They hope to have it completed in the next three years.

Planners say the school is still in the design phase. They hope to have architectural plans in the next two months.